University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name National Urban League v. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency FH-DC-0002
Docket / Court 76-718 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Case Summary
In April 1976, eleven civil rights groups, led by the National Urban League, filed suit against the four federal lending regulatory agencies, alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601-3619, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs sought declaratory ... read more >
In April 1976, eleven civil rights groups, led by the National Urban League, filed suit against the four federal lending regulatory agencies, alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601-3619, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the Defendants, all federal agencies with regulatory authority over private lenders, had failed to prevent race-based discrimination in residential lending. The Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint, filed in July 1976, served as the basis for litigation during the next year and a half. U.S. District Court Judge Gerhard Gesell pressured the parties to enter into settlement talks in the winter of 1976-77.

During the course of the litigation, three out of the four Defendants the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (March 1977), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (May 1977), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (November 1977) entered into settlement agreements with the plaintiffs. These settlement agreements required the Defendant-agencies to implement formal non-discrimination policies; to collect data concerning the practices of the regulated lenders; to study the data to detect patterns of race-based discrimination; and to cooperate with the plaintiff-organizations to implement further measures, if necessary. These settlement agreements lapsed around 1980 without further agreement about formal cooperation between the plaintiff-organizations and the Defendant-agencies.

The fourth Defendant-agency, the Federal Reserve, did not settle with the plaintiffs and ultimately won dismissal on the lawsuit on standing grounds, in May 1978. National Urban League v. Office of Comptroller of Currency, 78 F.R.D. 543 (D.D.C. 1978). However, immediately after winning the lawsuit, the Federal Reserve agreed to voluntarily implement many of the provisions found in the other three agencies settlement agreements.

Many of the plaintiffs lawyers in the case were active in Washington D.C.-based fair housing litigation in the early-to-mid 1970s. Two of the leading organizations in this field were the Center for National Policy Review (CNPR), a law school clinic associated with Catholic University, and the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing, Inc. (NCDH), a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit.

Andrew Nash - 06/02/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
None on record
Causes of Action Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 3601 et seq.
Defendant(s) Comptroller of the Currency
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Federal Home Loan Bank Board
Federal Reserve Board
Plaintiff Description The National Urban League, filing on behalf of a woman who suspected that sex discrimination played a role in a bank's decision to deny her application for a home loan.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1978
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation
Written: Dec. 04, 2008
By: Andrew Nash (Washington University in St. Louis)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Background for Meeting with Jay Janis
FH-DC-0002-0028 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Follow-up strategies, Financial Regulatory Agencies
FH-DC-0002-0029 PDF | Detail
Further Amendment to Settlement Agreement
FH-DC-0002-0030 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Petition [to Federal Home Loan Bank Board]
FH-DC-0002-0031 PDF | Detail
Letter to the FDIC 05/10/1976
FH-DC-0002-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
[Re: FDIC's Fair Lending Enforcement] 05/10/1976
FH-DC-0002-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Amended Complaint for Declaratory, Injunctive and Other Relief 07/13/1976
FH-DC-0002-0002 PDF | Detail
Letter to Judge Gerhard from Harold B. Shore 01/18/1977
FH-DC-0002-0003 PDF | Detail
Summary of Status of Settlement Negotiation 02/09/1977
FH-DC-0002-0009 PDF | Detail
Summary of Conference in Judge Gesell's Chambers 02/16/1977
FH-DC-0002-0010 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Summary of Status of Settlement Negotiations 02/16/1977
FH-DC-0002-0011 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
[Re: National Urban League, et al v. Comptroller of the Currency, et al (D. D. C. No. 76-0718)] 02/23/1977
FH-DC-0002-0012 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Order/Settlement Agreement 03/23/1977
FH-DC-0002-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Papers of Margo Schlanger
FDIC Enters Agreement for Dismissal from Fair Housing Lending Suit 05/16/1977
FH-DC-0002-0013 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Stipulation of Dismissal 05/16/1977 (D.D.C.)
FH-DC-0002-0014 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Memorandum [Proposed FDIC Policy Changes] 10/05/1977
FH-DC-0002-0015 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Agreement 10/06/1977
FH-DC-0002-0004 PDF | Detail
Settlement Negotiations and Agreement 12/06/1977
FH-DC-0002-0016 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Memorandum [of lawsuit by William Taylor] 02/01/1978
FH-DC-0002-0017 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Defendants' Objections and Opposition to Plaintiffs' Statement of Material Facts as to Which There is No Genuine Dispute 03/10/1978
FH-DC-0002-0005 PDF | Detail
Memorandum and Order [Granting Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment] 05/03/1978 (78 F.R.D. 543) (D.D.C.)
FH-DC-0002-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Banking Circular No. 107 05/26/1978
FH-DC-0002-0018 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Untitled 06/14/1978
FH-DC-0002-0019 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Letter [ to Chairman of Board of Governors] 06/20/1978
FH-DC-0002-0020 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Letter [ to Chairman of Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs] 07/03/1978
FH-DC-0002-0021 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
[Re: Semi-Annual Review of Civil Rights Settlement Agreement] 05/29/1979
FH-DC-0002-0022 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
[Information on Fair Housing Violations and Complaints] 06/22/1979
FH-DC-0002-0023 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Memorandum [To Plaintiffs] 10/15/1979
FH-DC-0002-0024 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Letter to Chairman of Federal Home Loan Board 11/09/1979
FH-DC-0002-0025 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Letter [on Merger Decision] 11/27/1979
FH-DC-0002-0026 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Library of Congress
Letter [to Center for National Policy Review] 04/14/1980
FH-DC-0002-0027 PDF | Detail
Judges Gesell, Gerhard Alden (D.D.C.)
FH-DC-0002-0007
Monitors/Masters Reuss, Henry S (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0002-0019
Plaintiff's Lawyers Greenberg, Jack (New York)
FH-DC-0002-0002 | FH-DC-0002-0006 | FH-DC-0002-0007
Krueger, Karen (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0002-0006
Kuhn, Roger S. (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0002-0002 | FH-DC-0002-0006 | FH-DC-0002-0007 | FH-DC-0002-0014 | FH-DC-0002-0015 | FH-DC-0002-0016 | FH-DC-0002-0022 | FH-DC-0002-0024
Mulkeen, Jay (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0002-0002 | FH-DC-0002-0007
Nabrit, James M. III (New York)
FH-DC-0002-0002 | FH-DC-0002-0006 | FH-DC-0002-0007
Searing, Daniel A. (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0002-0002 | FH-DC-0002-0007 | FH-DC-0002-0031
Shore, Harold B. (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0002-0003 | FH-DC-0002-0006 | FH-DC-0002-0012
Sloane, Martin (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0002-0002 | FH-DC-0002-0006 | FH-DC-0002-0007 | FH-DC-0002-0014 | FH-DC-0002-0015 | FH-DC-0002-0030
Taylor, William L. (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0002-0002 | FH-DC-0002-0006 | FH-DC-0002-0007 | FH-DC-0002-0014 | FH-DC-0002-0015 | FH-DC-0002-0017 | FH-DC-0002-0025 | FH-DC-0002-0030 | FH-DC-0002-0031
Warren, Michael W (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0002-0006
Williams, Charles E. III (New York)
FH-DC-0002-0002 | FH-DC-0002-0006 | FH-DC-0002-0007
Defendant's Lawyers Babcock, Barbara Allen (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0002-0005
Goldberg, Daniel J. (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0002-0006
Gunther, John E. (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0002-0006
Kennedy, Brian (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0002-0005
Rader, Robert M (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0002-0005 | FH-DC-0002-0007
Silbert, Earl J. (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0002-0005
Steinmeyer, Anthony J. (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0002-0005
Other Lawyers None on record

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